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N501 Silhouette

Started by National 12 Webmaster, 29 Jun 2007, 06:49

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National 12 Webmaster

The life of N501 Silhouette. Design: Holt 500, designed by: Jack Holt in 1946

 

Burton Cup winning boat, Torbay 1947, Howard Williams.

edwillett

On ebay, October 2012. Located in Cornwall. Text and picture from ebay.
"I am offering a vintage National Twelve dinghy, sail number 501.
This is one of the earliest National 12's you are likely to see around and is one of the earliest of the "Holt 500" series.
Unfortunately she has fallen into a state of severe disrepair and is in need of a major rebuild.
She was given to me in 1997, free of charge, in need of pretty serious work - we replaced several planks, several ribs, and all the decking, not to mention all the rigging and loads of fittings.
We had her on the water in 1998 and 1999 but sadly since then, and since living away from Cornwall she has been left without the love the attention she deserves.
Initially kept in a garage she was unfortunately moved outside a few years ago due to space constraints.
Now there are broad areas of the planking that are rotten and will need replacing.
I haven't done a proper survey but in honesty I think she would need a complete rebuild. In other words, this would be a project for someone who either felt deeply passionate about vintage national twelves, or someone who simply wanted to learn how to rebuild a clinker racing dinghy.
She was a very beautiful dinghy, very light and fast for her era, with an impressive sail area. Very fast off the wind and the large centre-plate keeps her tight upwind as well. For single or double-handers.
The picture is not ideal but gives an idea with the peeling paint!
We have the hull, all the fixed rigging and I think most of the running rigging too. A jib and mainsail (but please note the mainsail is not the original, and has another sail number on it). From memory I think it was broader in the foot than the original, and the wooden boom had been extended (all this was before my time).
There is a boom and mast, centre plate, rudder (which is fixed-type), tiller and I think there is a whisker pole for the jib if I can find it!
There is also a road trailer but this is utterly rusted and needs new bearings and a lot more besides. It is certainly not roadworthy and although perhaps repairable, I think it would be far cheaper to buy a new one.
The dinghy is currently on a couple of large trestles: these have also got a bit of rot in parts but are mostly sound. You are welcome to these if you like.
Obviously, anyone interested in taking the boat would need to pick it up from its home in South West Cornwall - I'm afraid I think it might rattle apart if put on a boat trailer so it would need securing upturned on a large flatbed trailer, or in a big van or similar - please bear this is mind.
There has been some interest already for the mast (metal) and boom (wooden) but it would be a shame to break her up - this is the last chance saloon for anybody who has the time and space to take her on.
There is obviously no reserve and I would be more than happy to let her go for nothing, just like she was given to me."

T Hatton (Guest)

I owned, restored and sailed 'Silhouette' on the Thames in the late sixties while working at Jack Holt's shop in Putney.
Good to see her again but sad that she now obviously needs a lot of work.
Perhaps the owners could get in touch with Marcus Lewis of The Wooden Boatbuilder in Fowey, Cornwall (Tel 07973 420568) to see if they would take her on as a project.

T Hatton (Guest)

I owned, restored and sailed 'Silhouette' on the Thames in the late sixties while working at Jack Holt's shop in Putney.
Good to see her again but sad that she now obviously needs a lot of work.
Perhaps the owners could get in touch with Marcus Lewis of The Wooden Boatbuilder in Fowey, Cornwall (Tel 07973 420568) to see if they would take her on as a project?

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